The big names starring in a Nottingham panto are taking a piece of the county’s heritage away with them forever after being given a sapling from the famous Major Oak.
David Hasselhoff, Barney Harwood and Su Pollard, who are appearing in Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal, were presented with two-year-old sapling trees grown directly from acorns from England’s oldest tree by Nottinghamshire County Council and Robin Hood (aka Ade Andrews).
The Major Oak, which grows within the county council’s Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, is estimated to be around 1,000 years old and legend has it that Robin Hood hid from his enemies inside the tree.
Now to commemorate the actors’ time in Nottinghamshire, they have been given the special presents.
Coun John Knight, committee chairman for culture, said: “This gesture recognises what the cast are contributing to Nottinghamshire through their performances this season, and helps us to raise the profile of the important conservation work which we do within Sherwood Forest, which has some of the oldest trees in Europe.
“It is also the legendary home of Robin Hood and we are delighted he is also able to attend the presentation as we met the cast members.”
Thousands of acorns are collected during Seed Hunt Sunday at Sherwood Forest each year.
Managed by Nottinghamshire County Council rangers, it is the one day of the year that tourists are allowed to collect Major Oak acorns under the supervision of Sherwood visitor centre staff.
An average of 100 young saplings are brought back to Sherwood Forest each year.
The county council manages a nursery to further develop the young saplings and then they are planted across the wider Sherwood Forest area to grow with support from partners including Sherwood Forest Trust and the Woodland Trust.
Coun Knight added: “Each year we welcome families to come to our Seed Hunt Sunday event to gather acorns from under the Major Oak.
“We teach them how to look for the most fertile acorns and give them tips on growing the acorns at home.
“We then welcome families back with their saplings a couple of years down the line. It all helps to preserve and support our world famous forest for future generations.”
Peter Pan runs until Sunday 12th January.